Jason Motte set for follow-up MRI on elbow Tuesday

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Jason Motte was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, but he’s hoping to close games for the Cardinals again soon.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Motte is scheduled to visit Dr. George Paletta tomorrow for a follow-up MRI on his elbow. While he has been limited to arm exercises since he first complained of symptoms following a Grapefruit League appearance on March 21, he could be cleared to ramp things up if improvement is found.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be able to compare where we were to where we are,” Motte said before Monday’s home opener. “From there, we’ll move forward with what they’ll let me do or not do. If they say everything looks fine, we’ll move on from there. It just depends on what they say I need or don’t need.”

Mitchell Boggs is serving as the Cardinals’ closer with Motte sidelined. After he allowed one run in four innings over his first four appearances this season, he was touched up for seven runs (six earned) on two hits, four walks (two intentional) and a wild pitch today against the Reds. The Cardinals’ defense didn’t help matters, but…ouch.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.